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1987 Detroit Tigers season

 

1987 Detroit Tigers season

1987 Detroit Tigers
AL East Champs
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s) Tom Monaghan
Manager(s) Sparky Anderson
Local television WDIV-TV
(Al Kaline)
PASS
(Larry Osterman, Jim Northrup)
Local radio WJR
(Ernie Harwell, Paul Carey)
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The 1987 Detroit Tigers season saw the Tigers make a startling late-season comeback to win the American League Eastern Division. The Tigers finished with a record of 98 wins and 64 losses, two games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays. Detroit lost the American League Championship Series to the Minnesota Twins in 5 games.

Contents

  • Offseason 1
  • Regular season 2
    • Season standings 2.1
    • Transactions 2.2
    • Roster 2.3
  • Player stats 3
    • Batting 3.1
      • Starters by position 3.1.1
      • Other batters 3.1.2
    • Pitching 3.2
      • Starting pitchers 3.2.1
      • Relief pitchers 3.2.2
  • Farm system 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Offseason

  • March 23, 1987: Brian Harper was released by the Tigers.[1]

Regular season

After their 1984 championship season, the Tigers finished in third place in the AL East in both 1985 and 1986. The 1987 Tigers faced lowered expectations - which seemed to be confirmed by an 11-19 start to the season. The team hit its stride thereafter and gradually gained ground on its AL East rivals. This charge was fueled in part by the acquisition of pitcher Doyle Alexander from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor league pitcher John Smoltz. Alexander started 11 games for the Tigers, posting 9 wins without a loss and a 1.53 ERA. The deal came at a price. Smoltz, a Lansing, Michigan native, went on to have a long, productive career with the Braves and would later win a Cy Young Award.

Despite their improvement, they entered September neck-and-neck with the Toronto Blue Jays. The two teams would square off in seven hard-fought games during the final two weeks of the season. All seven games were decided by one run, and in the first six of the seven games, the winning run was scored in the final inning of play. At Exhibition Stadium, the Tigers dropped three in a row to the Blue Jays before winning a dramatic extra-inning showdown.

The Tigers entered the final week of the 1987 season 3.5 games behind. After a series against the Baltimore Orioles, the Tigers returned home trailing by a game and swept the Blue Jays. Detroit clinched the division in a 1-0 victory over Toronto in front of 51,005 fans at Tiger Stadium on Sunday afternoon, October 4. Frank Tanana went all nine innings for the complete game shutout, and outfielder Larry Herndon gave the Tigers their lone run on a second-inning home run. Detroit finished the season a Major League-best 98-64, two games ahead of Toronto.

In what would prove to be their last postseason appearance until 2006, the Tigers lost the 1987 American League Championship Series to the underdog Minnesota Twins (who would go on to win the World Series) in five games.

The 1987 Tigers' winning percentage ranks as the 10th best in team history, as follows:

Best Seasons in Detroit Tigers History
Rank Year Wins Losses Win %   Finish
1 1934 101 53 .656 Lost 1934 World Series to Cardinals
2 1915 100 54 .649 2nd in AL behind Red Sox
3 1909 98 54 .645 Lost 1909 World Series to Pirates
4 1984 104 58 .642 Won 1984 World Series over Padres
5 1968 103 59 .636 Won 1968 World Series over Cardinals
6 1961 101 61 .623 2nd in AL behind Yankees
7 1950 95 59 .617 2nd in AL behind Yankees
8 1935 93 58 .616 Won 1935 World Series over Cubs
9 1907 92 58 .613 Lost 1907 World Series to Cubs
10 1987 98 64 .605 Lost 1987 ALCS to Twins

Season standings

AL East W L Pct. GB
Detroit Tigers 98 64 .605 --
Toronto Blue Jays 96 66 .593 2
Milwaukee Brewers 91 71 .562 7
New York Yankees 89 73 .549 9
Boston Red Sox 78 84 .481 20
Baltimore Orioles 67 95 .414 31
Cleveland Indians 61 101 .377 37


Transactions

Roster

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

= Indicates team leader
Note: Pos = position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In
Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Matt Nokes 135 461 133 .289 32 87
1B Darrell Evans 150 499 128 .257 34 99
2B Lou Whitaker 149 604 160 .265 16 59
3B Tom Brookens 143 444 107 .241 14 59
SS Alan Trammell 151 597 205 .343 28 105
LF Kirk Gibson 128 487 135 .277 24 79
CF Chet Lemon 146 470 130 .277 20 75
RF Pat Sheridan 141 421 109 .259 6 49
DH Bill Madlock 87 326 91 .279 14 50

Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Larry Herndon 89 225 73 .324 9 47
Scott Lusader 23 47 15 .319 1 8
Mike Heath 93 270 76 .281 8 33
Dave Bergman 91 172 47 .273 6 22
Billy Bean 26 66 17 .258 0 4
Jim Walewander 53 54 13 .241 1 4
Jim Morrison 34 117 24 .205 4 19
Terry Harper 31 64 13 .203 3 10
Johnny Grubb 59 114 23 .202 2 13
Dwight Lowry 13 25 5 .200 0 1
Darnell Coles 53 149 27 .181 4 15
Orlando Mercado 10 22 3 .136 0 1
Tim Tolman 9 12 1 .083 0 1
Doug Baker 8 1 0 .000 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Doyle Alexander 11 88⅓ 9 0 1.53 44
Jack Morris 34 266 18 11 3.38 208
Frank Tanana 34 218⅔ 15 10 3.91 146
Walt Terrell 35 244⅔ 17 10 4.05 143
Jeff Robinson 29 127⅓ 9 6 5.37 98
Dan Petry 30 134⅔ 9 7 5.61 93

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Mike Henneman 55 11 3 7 2.98 75
Willie Hernández 45 3 4 8 3.67 30
Nate Snell 22 1 2 0 3.96 19
Mark Thurmond 48 0 1 5 4.23 21
Dickie Noles 4 0 0 2 4.50 0
Eric King 55 6 9 9 4.89 89
Bryan Kelly 5 0 1 0 5.06 10
Morris Madden 2 0 0 0 16.20 0

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Toledo Mud Hens International League Leon Roberts
AA Glens Falls Tigers Eastern League Tom Burgess, Tom Gamboa and Paul Felix
A Lakeland Tigers Florida State League John Wockenfuss
A Fayetteville Generals South Atlantic League Johnny Lipon
Rookie Bristol Tigers Appalachian League Rick Magnante
[8]

References

  1. ^ Brian Harper page at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ Travis Fryman page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Torey Lovullo page at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ Bill Madlock page at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ Darnell Coles page at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ Doyle Alexander page at Baseball Reference
  7. ^ Dickie Noles page at Baseball Reference
  8. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball". Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1997

External links

  • 1987 Detroit Tigers team page at Baseball Reference
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